The Support Network for Women Renunciants in Malaysia and Singapore was first formed in May 2011 with the purpose to consolidate efforts to help women who aspire to go forth, especially in the Theravada tradition. With the advice and help of our spiritual advisors, Venerable Saranankara, Venerable Anandajoti, Venerable Santini, Venerable Upekkha and the Pro-tem Committee, we established the Gotami Vihara as a place of stay for women renunciants.
1. Opening of Gotami Vihara (GV)
The Opening of GV on 2 June, 2012 was a very encouraging one with the attendance of about 100 devotees and was graced by the following Sangha members: Ven. Saranankara, Ven Siridhamma, Ven Santini (Indonesia), Ven Dhammananda (Thailand), Ven Dr. Lieu Phap, Ven Nhu The, Ven Nhu Lien & Upasika Phuong Anh (Vietnam), Ven Bodhicitta (Aust), Ven Sonam Wangmo (Bhutan), Ven Karma Tashi Choedron, Sister Sumangala, Sayalay Paramacari, Maechee Kai Ping and Sister Ai Lin.
The programme for the event included:
• Puja and Dhamma talk by Ven. Saranankara
• Hymn singing by Sis Au Yang Yao Chih and Bro MV Nathan
• Lunch Dana for the Venerables
• Two-day Workshop on Skills Building for Women Renunciants
• Tzu Chi Foundation free health care for Women Renunciants
(Please see full report, photos and video recording on GV’s Blog)
https://snfwrenms.wordpress.com/ https://dl.dropbox.com/u/42405246/Gotami%20Vihara.rar, https://www.dropbox.com/s/wl3co233vx5rprr/2012-6-2%2C%20Opening%20of%20Gotami%20Vihara%20%28photo%20by%20Lim%20Chung%20Lu%29.zip.
The recording of the hymn singing is on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPrN2Aa-qIM
Second International Bhikkhuni Day
We celebrated the day in a quiet but meaningful way with about forty people attending. The Day was to honour prominent bhikkhunis in their unique achievements and contribution in preserving and propagating the Dhamma and upholding the Four-fold Assembly.
The Day was also to remember and recognise those who went through great odds and sacrifice for the right to become a bhikkhuni. It was a day of giving and receiving, of listening and sharing. We had fun too because we tied it up with the Mid Autumn Festival. The activities included:
• Puja; Chanting by nuns of Venerable Dhammananda’s Songdhammakalyani Monastery,
Thailand ‘Praise to Thirteen Arahant Theris’ (CD)
• Metta Round the World chanting and Meditation
• Hymn singing by Sister Au Yang Yao Chih and Brother. M.V. Nathan from his 7th Album on Buddhist hymns
• Performance by Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society Sunday School children – drama and
• Lunch Dana for Venerables
• Video clip from Tibet – ‘Kungfu Nuns’
• Recital from the Theri Gatha – Patacara Bhikkhuni (Please see full report on GV’s Blog)
Venerable Bodhicitta successfully conducted a ‘Stress Management Retreat Among White Clouds’ at Chin Swee Temple, Genting from 2–11 Nov, 2012. It was co-organised with Genting Buddhist Society and 10 participants greatly benefitted from it.
i. 6.12.11 – Venerable Bhikkhuni Hasapanna (Malaysian), Dhamma talk: ‘The Perversion of Perception,’ at TiRatana Penchala Community Centre, P.J
ii. Venerable Bhikkhuni Bodhicitta (Australian) Dhamma talks, ‘Giving Up A Career in Bio-Medicine to be a Bhikkhuni’:
17.2.2012 – Ipoh Buddhist Society, Perak
18.2. 2012 – Mahindarama Temple, Penang
19.2. 2012 – Taiping Insight Meditation Society, Perak
27.8.2012 – Genting Buddhist Society, ‘Mindfulness in Daily Life,’ Selangor
iii. 2-3 June, 2012 – 2 day Workshop on ‘Skills Building for Women Renunciants,’ GV
iv. 21.6.12 Venerable Karma Lekshe Tsomo (USA), ‘Bhikkhuni Communities Round the World,’ Gotami Vihara
v. 15.7.12 Venerable Bodhicitta’s meditation practice & Dhamma talk: ‘Mindfulness in
Daily Life,’ Gotami Vihara
vi. 23.9.12 Venerable Badranirmala (Indonesia), ‘Engaged Buddhist Work in Indonesia,’ Gotami Vihara
vii. 8.12.12 Samaneri Santacari (Australia), Dhamma discussion: ‘Replacing
Unwholesome Thoughts with Good Ones (MN 19)
viii. 1.1.2013 Samaneri Paramacari (Malaysian) shared her experience on her Samaneri
Ordination at Vaisali on 29 July, 2012 and her participation in the 10 day
International Chanting of the Tipitaka in Bodhgaya.
ix. 26.1.2013 Maechee Punnisa (Malaysian) shared her moving experience in her 12 year
quest to be a nun and her present stay in a nunnery, Wat Boromniwat in
Bangkok. It has 45 nuns staying there and is set up by King Rama IV about
100 years ago.
5. Renunciants Staying in Gotami Vihara
i. Venerable Bhikkhuni Santini (Indonesia) attended the Opening of GV and was a mentor and guide for Renunciants staying in GV, 1-11 June, 2012
ii. Venerable Dr. Nhu Lien (Vietnam), Venerable Nhu The (Vietnam), Sister Sumangala, Sayalay Paramacari, Maechee Kai Ping who attended the Opening of GV in June, 2012
iii. 5 – 12 Dec, 2012 Samaneri Santacari (Australian) on transit to Pa Auk Meditation Centre, Myanmar). Assisted her with visa application.
iv. 30 Dec – 3 Jan, 2013 Samaneri Paramacari (Malaysian). She was partly assisted with travel expenses for her Samaneri Ordination in July, 2012 in Vaisali, India. A Dhamma brother and his friends also donated her a lap-top. On 1.1.2013, UKM Buddhist Society Alumni and other devotees invited Samaneri and 4 other nuns to lunch at Zest Café, KL to welcome the New Year.
v. 25 Jan–13 Feb, 2013. Maechee Punnisa (Malaysian) returning from Bangkok to be with her 95 year old mother and her family for Chinese New Year. As Maechee is interested in furthering her studies in the suttas and Pali, a devotee helped her obtain a copy of the Samyutta Nikaya.
vi. 4 – 5 Feb, 2013 Venerable Adhimutta Bhikkhuni (NZ) on transit from Colombo to Taiwan. Our committee member, Brother Choo Chow Heng and wife, Sister Lim Soh Buay offered her transport and accommodation in their home.
Renunciants Staying in GV in Future
vii. 29 April – 11 May, 2013 Venerable Adhimutta Bhikkhuni (NZ)
viii. April/May, 2013 Samaneri Santacari (returning from Myanmar to Aust)
ix. 6 May – June, 2013 Samaneri Visudhi & mother Samaneri Nanda (M’sians)
6. Fund Raising
Brother M.V. Nathan launched his 7th album on Buddhist Hymns at Matic Hall, KL on 28.10.2012. He received free recording and performance by an internationally renowned band “Akasha” (Asian fusion music which include instruments like sitar & ku cherrn). Other performers included the Messengers of the Dhamma, Igemz & Big Chips choir, Baba Nyonya couple, Simon Tan & Aaron Loo. Recording was done with Live Feed Video Taping.
Gotami Vihara received RM10,580 from the proceeds with no deduction for cost at all which we greatly appreciate. We have used part of the funds to buy our training equipment (LCD projector, screen, pa system and dvd player so that we do not have to borrow them when we have an event.
7. Free Health Screening and Treatment
i. In conjunction with the Opening, Tzu Chi Clinic, Jalan Pudu, KL has kindly offered free health screening and care for nuns on 9.6.2012 and 8.12.2012. Dental care is also available on Wednesday afternoons. Contact person – Dr. Tan, 012-674 8386.
ii. Dr. Liew Yuh Ming, a gynaecologist, has graciously offered free medical care to nuns at her clinic at Sentosa Medical Centre, Jalan Chemur, KL. (next to Grand Season’s Hotel). Please contact Dr. Liew directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
i. In June, 2012, Samaneri Visudhi’s mother Samaneri Nanda (Malaysians) was assisted with 6 month’s supply of medication by Brother Simon in Australia, to enable them to continue to stay with their preceptor in Australia. They will stay in GV from 6 May – June, 2013 when they return for a visit to Malaysia.
ii. In Aug, 2012, Sister Poh Tin helped to raise funds for the purchase of Pulsed Magnetic Field Curatronic Home System Therapy for Ven. Bodhicitta’s treatment.
iii. On 11 & 18 Nov, 2012, GV offered Venerable Saranankara and Venerable Bodhicitta robes and requisites after the successful completion of their vassas.
9. Part-time Helper/Kapiya
GV is fortunate to engage Sister Khema Cheah as a part-time kapiya/helper to assist us in its operations. She is a keen meditator and has experience in being a kapiya.
10. Address of GV
K37-C, Jalan TK 1/11A, Taman Kinrara, 47180 Puchong, Selangor (former premise of Kinrara Metta Buddhist Society. On main Puchong Road. Opposite former Army Camp, same row as Giant Supermarket, not Hypermarket).
Perhaps the greatest joy is to see the formation of the Asian Theravada Bhikkhuni Sangha Association (ATBSA) by the bhikkhunis present at the Opening of GV on 2 June, 2012.
Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!
Anumodana. May you be well and happy.
Support Network for Women Renunciants in Malaysia and Singapore